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Titles reviewed by Library readers and staff

Perma Red

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By Debra Magpie Earling

Very fluid, poetic writing, engaging story, current Native American themes. I liked the way it changes from first person narrative to third person writing style.
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Welcome to St. Hell

Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure

By Lewis Hancox

The author has told a complex story well. He has described the hell of high school for kids that don’t fit the norm. The main character was likeable–it was easy to follow their personal journey. The graphic novel format made it work even better.  –Sheila Nelsen Amado

This is a story that needs to be told and HEARD! It was a great graphic novel–funny and honest. It needs a content warning: eating disorders, transphobia.   –S.J.

A Sure Cure for Witchcraft

cover image of A Sure Cure for Witchcraft

By Laura Best

Well written, engaging, easy book for reading before sleep.
Available through Prospector.

My Sister’s Big Fat Indian Wedding

My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding

By Sajni Patel

What a time-and-space-and-culture transporting into the culture of Indian-Americans! Age-old heritage merged with modern life–keeping the best of both. Steeped in love, family, tradition–and amazing foods, clothing, and continuity of cultural institutions. Recommended.   –Cathy Grace

Great book for young adults with teen romance and Indian culture. I liked learning about details of an Indian wedding. I got a better understanding of the challenges of having a traditionl Indian family and living in the U.S.  –Jonna F.

Available through Prospector

Going Viral

Going Viral: A Socially Distant Love Story

By Katie Cicatelli-Kuc

YA – OMG, this took me right back to the chaos and uncertainty of early Pandemic times–and with a teenager! The author captures the crazy spectrum of emotions we’ve all experienced due to Covid and explores relationships (friend, family, and romantic) impacted by the uncertainty, fear, and inner growth nurtured by the extraordinary period in our lives…The book is a window into the nature and allure of social media too. Illuminating!

Bad Actors

Bad Actors (Slough House, #8)

By Mick Herron

The writing is hilarious. Plot is simple, but there are so many characters that the plot becomes incomprehensible until the midpoint of the book.  The writing was the best part of the book, for instance, “As a result of the blast ‘the black door was shaken, not stirred.'” Staff meeting: “The first half hour lasted just short of twice that long.” I would ‘sort of’ recommend this book.
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The Newcomer

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By Mary Kay Andrews

It was predictable, not well written, but had enough of a mindless hook that I read the entire book–like a bag of chips. Surprising it was a NYT bestseller.
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Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure: A Graphic Novel

Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure: A Graphic Novel

By Lewis Hancox

Funny, sad, and everything in between. Feels like an honest portrayal of a trans teen’s journey to happiness. It’s British, so replete with Brit vocabulary and culture. Once I got used to it, I enjoyed that!

In the Event of Love

In the Event of Love (Fern Falls, #1)

By Courtney Kae

As the author explained, she just wanted to read a simple Hallmark-type romance–but with gay characters. So she wrote one! I liked the small town setting, and all its positives and negatives.   –Cathy Grace

A fun take on the second chance trope, with plenty of attitude, set in a small town complete with its own Lumberjane.  –Kay Turnbaugh

Available through Prospector.

Brooklyn Supreme

Brooklyn Supreme

By Robert Reuland

This is a good story, a fun (and accurate) mocking of the judicial system. Several backstories were cleverly woven into the plot. I really enjoyed it, although the ending was a bit weak.

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Also A Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me

Also a Poet: Frank O'Hara, My Father, and Me

By Ada Calhoun

I enjoy reading the memoirs of writers and liked the anecdotes about Frank O’Hara.
[Ada Calhoun, the daughter of celebrated art critic Peter Schjeldahl, traces her fraught relationship with her father and their shared obsession with a great poet.]

The Last Professional

The Last Professional

By Ed Davis

Nice quick read, not the most riveting book, but interesting storyline. The characters were unique, and it seems to tell a fairly accurate tale of a rather unknown lifestyle.

The Good Sister

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By Sally Hepworth

An interesting story told by Fern, a librarian, and also by Rose, her sister, via diary. They are twins. Fern decides to have a baby because Rose desperately wants one, but cannot conceive. An intriguing read and story that kept me engaged. Not my typical read, but the story was interesting.
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Endure

Endure - By Cameron Hanes (hardcover) : Target

By Cameron Hanes

Very masculine and shallow. The book lacks meat and substance. I liked the layout with photos and multi-media.

Shadows of Berlin

Shadows of Berlin

By David R. Gillham

Captivating, although the content was disturbing. It made you really want to understand. So well written, a female character by a male author. My favorite part was the details and descriptions of everything: art, environments. I could see and feel them.

Available through Prospector

Noopiming

Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies

By Leanne Simpson

It was hard to follow due to words in a different language, not knowing if a character was human or animal or spirit, and the choppy flow of poetry/narrative. I’m not sure if I would recommend it, but I liked the storytelling of indigenous people.

The Newcomer

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By Mary Kay Andrews

A little bit of romance, a little bit of suspense…the perfect “beach read.” I liked the characters! They cover all three age ranges: seniors, 30-somethings, pre-school!
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Vladimir

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By Julia May Jonas

It was intelligent and dealt with aging/sex/power social issues, some interesting observations. That being said, I was relieved when it was over.
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Watershed: Attending to Body and Earth in Distress

Watershed: Attending to Body and Earth in Distress

By Ranae Lemor Hanson

Poetic, flowing story in a strong voice with an important message: the intertwining of physical disease and planetary disease, tying all things to water.

The Good Sister

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By Sally Hepworth

I liked the discussion of sensory processing and the sister relationship. I’m 1 of 4 sisters.

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Restitution

By John A. Daly

It was a great story. Well written. –Anonymous

Reads like a soap opera. I would not recommend it. –Susan Gerhart

Other books by John A. Daly available from NCL: From a Dead Sleep, Blood Trade

The Golden Couple

The Golden Couple: A Novel by Greer Hendricks, Sarah ...

By Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Another good one by this duo! Put together a renegade therapist and unconventional methods, plus two people who might or might not be what they appear…devoured it! It was completely absorbing and fun to get lost in a book, to tear myself away as necessary and then count the time ’til I could get back to it.  –Cathy Grace

Such a fun story! Love 1st person! Grabbed me into it on the first page. Great writing. Marisa and Avery were great female protagonists.  –Anonymous reader

The Secret Life of Kitty Granger

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By G.D. Falksen

What’s not to like about a teen-aged autistic girl who follows her curiosity and ends up a spy? I loved the character of Kitty; learned some interesting things about autism traits. And it had me on the edge of my seat!

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The Last Professional

The Last Professional

By Ed Davis

This book gave me a glimpse of a different life–that of hobos riding freights. The characters were well-drawn; great illustrations.

The Younger Wife

The Younger Wife

By Sally Hepworth

Engaging characters, each with secrets. Who to believe?? I liked the short chapters and that, combined with the story, made it compulsively readable.

Legends of the North Cascades

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By Jonathan Evison

Great story, compelling characters I cared about. Interweaving of story of women during the Ice Age, some redemption at the end. I liked the interweaving of the stories of Bella and S’tka. Beautifully done.
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Dying To Be Me

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By Anita Moorjani

Amazing from beginning to end! Thank you for sharing!

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Monkey Beach

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By Eden Robinson

A first-person narrative story of a young First Nations girl/woman growing up in British Columbia, in the late 1900s. Published in 2000. The story jumps through time, like the magical, poetic writing style. Sparse language, descriptive and lush. Robinson has published a recent trilogy. I would love to have them available to read.

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Heaven Is A Place on Earth

Heaven is a Place on Earth

By Adrian Shirk

Stinko. Too academic, wandering. I like learning about Utopian communities, but this was boring.

Lightning Down

Lightning Down: A World War II Story of Survival

By Tom Clavin

Very informative, nothing like it for my library, although I would suggest simplifying expressions and a two-part book, part I for Childhood and learning to fly, and Part II for prisoner of war.

The Lost Village

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By Camilla Sten

Page turner, but lots of fluff.

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The Unwilling

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By John Hart

Typical John Hart who is a good storyteller. Painful look at VietNam. Great packaging!

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At the Edge of the Haight

At the edge of the haight

By Katherine Seligman

Narrator’s perspective was unique–a homeless person–but plot and characters were flat. Felt like a worthless day n the life.  The book really humanized homeless people. We often walk by them without a glance. I would possibly recommend it for a YA audience.
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Twig and Turtle

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By Jennifer Richard Jacobson

It kind of related to what was happening to me. My favorite part was when Twig was trying to fix the problem, big dog/tiny house.

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The Last House on the Street

The Last House on the Street: A Novel by Diane Chamberlain, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®

By Diane Chamberlain

The writing is good, and the topic important. I had a hard time empathizing with Ellie due to the way she contributed to Win’s death. Ellie came across as a clueless, entitled white girl/woman who should have known better and not put Win’s life in jeopardy.

See more Diane Chamberlain books

Infinite Country

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By Patricia Engel

A well written and engaging story from multiple perspectives about immigration, legal and not, so very timely. I liked it because of the blending of local conditions in Colombia with person experience of migration and insight into that experience.

The Personal Librarian

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By Marie Benedict

OK, it’s pretty much a given that I would pick up a historical novel about a librarian… But this is so captivating! The woman who curated JP Morgan’s library was a fascinating character, a woman excelling in the “man’o world” of manuscript acquisition. And she had and lived with a huge secret her whole life! She was black, passing as white.  Such a vital story today, too.

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The Removed

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By Brandon Hobson

Interesting characters. Native culture good.

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A History of What Comes Next

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By Sylvain Neuvel

Well written, good story. I would recommend this book.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I loved the storytelling-by-letter format. The book was (surprise!) so much better than the movie.

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Clark and Division

Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara

By Naomi Hirahara

I love historical fiction, and this was the first time I’d read about the treatment of the Japanese during WWII. I loved the way she developed the characters. The “bad guys” were really the “good guys” and vice versa!

The President’s Daughter

The president's daughter

By Bill Clinton and James Patterson

It’s a big book but fast reading.  Great for a lazing day on the deck!

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Sideways Stories from Wayside School

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By Louis Sachar
(Children)

One of my favorite books. Quick, silly, and sometimes insightful vignettes about students and teachers at Wayside, a school that was built sideways so it’s 30 stories tall. (The builder said he was very sorry.) Great for bedtime, read-alouds, or children who like quick, funny reads!
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The Edge Chronicles

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By Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
(Juvenile)

Another really good fantasy series, full of action and adrenaline. These books are really entertaining to read!
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Big Girl, Small Town

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By Michelle Gallen
Didn’t care for the style. The author used dashes instead of quotation marks. Reading in Irish isn’t my thing.
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The Secret Life of Bees

The secret life of bees

By Sue Monk Kidd (narrator for audio book: Jenna Lamia)
Poetic prose and tragically lovely. Depicts strong, independent women.
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NPR Road Trips Collection: On the Road Again (CD)

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I listened to this while on a road trip. It was great! NPR-style stories that inform, entertain, and add dimension. Lots of fun!
(Patty agrees!)
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The Dead Husband

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By Carter Wilson
It’s not going to be one of the New York Times best books of the year, but it may be one of the ten best mysteries. The characters were interesting and engaging.
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The Escape Room

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By Megan Goldin
This book scared me from the first page. Look for it to be a 2020 Edgar nominee.
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At the Water’s Edge

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By Sara Gruen
Sara Gruen has a unique way of entering the reader right into her story with both great dialogue and descriptive words. This story leaves you struggling with personal feelings toward its characters and guessing where the story will end. A book quite difficult to put down.
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The Magnificent Mountain Women

The Magnificent Mountain Women : Adventures in the Colorado Rockies by Janet Robertson (2003 ...

By Janet Robertson
An enduring classic, celebrating women adventurers here in Colorado. Check out my grandmother (Harriet Vaille Bouck) and great aunt (Agnes Vaille) who both left a legacy that endures today on Rocky Mountain National Park and, in particular, Longs Peak. Woman power!
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The Good Sister

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By Sally Hepworth
It’s a little reminiscent of The Rosie Project: quirky, but with a DARK side. It kept me guessing!
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A Good Neighborhood

By Therese Ann Fowler
A story of two families on a collision course. It explores class, race, and their effects on two young people trying to navigate their own feelings. Excellent read!
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Remarkable Creatures

By Tracy Chevalier
A moving story of an unusual female friendship, on the brink of God-created vs. evolution.
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Fahrenheit 451
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By Ray Bradbury
Amazing story! One of the best dystopians I have ever read and will not disappoint!
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Foxglove Summer
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By Ben Aaronovitch
#7 in the Rivers of London police procedural/magician stories/series. Two little girls have gone missing–have they been kidnapped by the fairies? Excellent series!
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Big Lies in a Small Town

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By Diane Chamberlain
Very unusual plot, a few too many coincidences but fascinating. Lots of details about art, restoration of art and about the South. Excellent use of situation-appropriate idioms as the time changed from 1939 to 2018. It’s nice to have a book mainly about good people.
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Big Lies in a Small Town

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By Diane Chamberlain
An art student has an opportunity to get out of prison to restore Anna Dale’s 1940s mural. Mysterious questions arise at every turn and make this novel a page turner!
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Tales of the Lazy Z

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By Don Stilson
Did you know Don? Sadly, he died in 2017. But through this newly-published book of stories, you can get acquainted and see what/who you missed.
The stories are classified as fiction, but ring true in many ways and carry a lot of truth, as well as the flavor of our area and of the lifestyle of a modern cattle-raising couple. Ranging from laugh-out-loud funny to throat-lump poignant, every story is a winner.

Our Woman in Moscow

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By Beatriz Williams

Set during the Cold War with dual timelines of 1940 and 1952, this thriller stars twin sisters, two indomitable women whose foe is also a woman. It’s unusual for spy novels to feature this many women, and that, by itself, makes it a fascinating read.
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The Night Always Comes

By Willy Vlautin

This is classic Vlautin—a deeply realistic, empathetic, and depressing life in current America. A thin thread of hope wins the story.
Love Lynette’s gumption and determination. True and sparse prose is a quick read as style matches plot.
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Outlawed

By Anna North

Well written, complex, and driven female protagonist in a believable wild west dystopia. Nicely paced and well written with an apt ending.
Reader Olivia Dawson recommends this book.
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